Vigil held in State College for victims of Orlando shooting
STATE COLLEGE - A vigil was held Monday night to honor the victims of the terrorist attack in Orlando.
"It hurt me so much when I first heard the news," student organizer Brian Davis said.
Davis helped organize the service and knew one of the 49 lives lost in the shooting.
"After I found out that it was someone that I knew, it made me cry so much because I can't believe we live in a world like this, where things like this happen," said Davis. "We talked a lot and I definitely respected her and it's just so sad."
Coming together to "Stand in Solidarity with Orlando," hundreds of members from Penn State and the local community gathered on the steps of Old Main to remember those who lost their lives in the tragedy.
"It's an expression of sympathy and more importantly solidarity," Penn State Executive Vice President and Provost Nick Jones said.
"The shooting was really a shock for everyone. It took away the safety of the many members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community," said Allison Subasic, director of the Penn State LGBTQA student resource center.
While flags were flying half-staff, several people were crying, praying and showing their own way of support.
During the service, dozens of people were holding candles and comforting one another to find strength in this moment of sorrow.
A student from Florida said he was shocked to hear the shooting happened so close to his home.
"To me it just shows that we are not as far along as we like to think and it's kind of shameful it takes something like this to recognize that," said Florida resident Ryan Pilcher.
Davis said the focus of the vigil was to help heal, bring the love back and fight the hate.
"I hope we can change the world because these are problems people shouldn't have to face," Davis said.
Organizers said two more vigils are scheduled for Tuesday night at State College.
A service is expected to be held at 6 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County on Waupelani Drive. There's a separate service being held at 8 p.m. at the Allen Street Gates.